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My Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs Spice novel is being released today in Italy in a three-in-one book set with Lori Foster and Amanda McIntryre!
 
 
I’ve always loved trains and the mystery and adventure of the Orient Express. Even James Bond got it on with a beautiful Russian spy aboard the train to Istanbul in From Russia with Love.
 
When I wanted my heroine in my erotic spy thriller, Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs (Bionda Vendetta in Italian), to take control of the situation with a sexy man she perceived to be a dangerous terrorist, she went one step further than 007: she tied him up and performed delicious torture on him (including oral sex) on the night train to Paris:
 
He attempts to rip apart his restraints, arching and groaning and gritting his teeth.
 
“You can avoid further frustration if you tell me what I want to know.” I smooth his dark hair back from his sweating brow, avoiding touching his eye patch, knowing he’s anticipating me ripping it off. I don’t, adding to his tension. “Who do you work for?”
 
“I told you. I work alone.”
 
“I don’t believe you.” I slide my hand between his legs, feeling him. “Maybe this will loosen your tongue because I have no intention of loosening the rope around your cock.” This elicits a distinct erotic charge in him that jolts him. He thrusts into my hand, struggling madly to free himself, his shoulders heaving in his attempt to escape from captivity.
 
“You’ll get no information from me,” he snorts.
 
“Won’t I? I know the Russian had money,” I persist, knowing I have to give him a convincing story. “I want my share.”
 
He closes his eyes. I see his exhaustion. He’s not giving up as easily as I first believed. It’s not easy on me either. I exist in a situation of emotional and sexual intensity in which I’m deeply implicated, yet I can do nothing to satisfy my own needs. This is no lovers’ game, but a tug-of-war involving the intense energy of ritual and passionate SM where one of us will lose.
 
The question is: Which one?
 
I also made a short 30-second promo for Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs in both English and Italian.
 
Enjoy!

ENGLISH

 
 ITALIAN
 
 
 
 
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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

How well do you know your hero? Is he tall, dark and handsome? Okay, so you don’t want a cookie-cutter hero, but have you really thought about what questions to ask him?

(When you can take your eyes away from his sexy grin among other parts of his anatomy.)

This reporter recently interviewed heroines for a romance gig and got some very interesting answers.

Now, it’s your hero’s turn. Ready, ladies? Start your engines…

Here are my 5 Job Tips for a great romance novel hero interview:

1. Don’t ask him to take off his shirt. Tempting, yes, as you check out his muscular arms, but this is a sexist attitude that will get you nowhere. (But oh the fun you’ll have trying!)

2. Schedule the interview in a locale where you’ll both feel comfortable. Not in a sports bar where he can eyeball the basketball scores and the waitresses with the deep cleavage. Forget tea shops that serve lemon dainties, unless you’re writing a regency and you want to see if he exudes the proper Mr. Darcy-isms.

3. Ask him to show you his…wheels. Yes, I said, wheels. Is he a Harley guy? Jaguar? Or does he drive an old pickup? Does he keep half his “stuff” in his car? Or is he a neatnik? You can tell a lot about a man by his…wheels.

4. What’s his day job? Or if he’s into night work (and what hard-working vampire isn’t?), you’ll want to make sure he’s a good match for your heroine. If she’s a lawyer, a police detective can make her life hectic; if she runs a cake and bake shop, how about interviewing a land developer who wants to tear down her vintage cottage shop? And let’s not forget the city gal who’s just aching to meet up with a real cowboy. Just make sure he can ride…a horse.

5. And finally, don’t ask him if he’s a good kisser. Tell him to show you.

Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?

Did you interview her before you started writing? I don’t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not she’s qualified for the job as a romance novel heroine.

For example, does she have the skills needed to perform her job: Can she shoot a Glock if you’re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if she’s interviewing for the job as a Victorian lady’s maid? 

Or she may be overqualified for the job. For example, she can type faster than you or she has aspirations to leave the romance novel field and get a literary gig.

How long has she been out of work?

Romance novel jobs are hard to get and if it’s been decades since she slipped between the pages of a novel, you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, experience between the sheets is important for every romance heroine.

A typical interview could go like this:

Miss Jones, I’m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?

Miss Jones: Jane who? I’m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.

Next…

Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent who’s very physically active to catch the bad guys. Can you drop and do twenty?

Miss Smith: the only thing I dropped was twenty pounds to get this interview.

Let’s try again.

Miss von Rittenhaus, I need a romance novel heroine who sleeps all day and bites all night. Can you list your qualifications to be the vamp queen in my new urban fantasy novel?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Honey, I can snooze and cruise with the best of them. I’ve hit every vamp bar from here to Tampa and let me tell you, no one gets her fangs on better than Lulu.

When can you start?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Tonight. As soon as the sun goes down. (Pause). You haven’t mentioned a benefits package.

What do you mean?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Do I get overtime pay for all this night work? And how about a 401K? I’m not getting any younger and in this economy a girl, I mean vamp, has to look out for herself. What about my e-rights? And health benefits? What if I chip a fang and I have to see a dentist between chapters?

Jeez…Romance heroines…you can’t write with them and you can’t write without them.

This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when we’ll interview the romance novel hero and see if he’s up for the job.

 Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

This reporter was dashing here and there yesterday from one errand to another when disaster struck at my local market. You can’t lug around a big ole purse and not expect the inevitable not to happen.

The strap broke.

Out went my entire life, spread across the dirty linoleum like a social networking nightmare. Notes, lipsticks, coins, cell phone…everything fell out. Junk I haven’t seen for months (years?) went flying from one end of the floor to the other. You’d think someone had just broken a piñata the way the clerks came running to my assistance.

Which made me wonder: what does a contemporary romance heroine carry in her purse?

Or to take it a one step further: what three things can’t she live without?

This reporter says a cell phone, credit card and lipstick.

And if you’re writing erotic, condoms.

But remember, we said only three items. Makes it more difficult. Here’s the deal: You can’t eliminate the condoms–safe sex rocks!–so if you were writing a contemporary erotic romance, what item would you eliminate–the cell phone, the credit card or the lipstick?

And why?

Think about it. Then read my answer below.

================

This reporter would keep the cell phone and credit card and eliminate the lipstick, then I would use the credit card to buy a new, red-hot lipstick!

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

It has come to the attention of this reporter that several of you out there, both romance readers and writers alike, are so involved in your reading and/or writing of romance novels that you may not be aware the bastion of male sweat and tight ends will soon be upon us.

Super Bowl.

Be aware, ladies, this is not to be taken lightly. No amount of cleavage or sexy panting will get your man away from the TV set on Super Bowl Sunday. Trust me, I know.

And if you are a football fan, well, you may know how to play the game, but do you know the top 5 things NOT to do during the game?

This reporter has gone to great lengths to find out.

So before the coin toss on Sunday, let’s get your game face on.

1. This is not the day to have new furniture delivered. Your man wants his lumpy sofa and scratched-up, old coffee table where he can be comfortable and put his feet up and watch the game. His turf, if you will.

2. No flavored sparkling water with teensy lime slices. This is like serving vanilla meringue puffs to a hungry army on the march. Beer is the beverage of choice and plenty of it.

3. Hold the beans and pass the guacamole. This is not the time to try out your extra spicy, three-kinds-of-beans dip. Bathroom breaks are not at the top of his list, even during the commercials. Who wants to miss those?

4. Don’t diss his friends if they show up smelling of beer and cigarettes. It’s a guy thing, believe me. A ritual to see who can smell the worst. Remember the guy in the news recently who didn’t wash his jeans for more than a year? That’s right, keep telling yourself it could be worse.

5. No matter how many potato chip crumbs or pizza toppings fall to the floor or carpet, do not vacuum them up. You will drive him crazy. Not good crazy, bad crazy. He’ll never forgive you if he misses the winning touchdown because of a noisy vacuum. And don’t try vacuuming naked. The only skin he’s interested in during the game is on a football.

One final word from this reporter’s iPad: whether your man pouts or gloats about his team’s performance, make sure you rave about his performance in bed afterward.

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Meet EVELYN Q. DARLING, Romance Reporter at Large, in her first blog today:

In the past, creating a job for a romantic heroine usually meant she was either a governess, a nurse, or in the early twentieth century, a “typewriter,” better known as a secretary.

Take a letter, Miss Jones…

To all writers of romance novels.

Dear Miss, Ms. or Madam:

It has come to this reporter’s attention that several of you have veered away from writing about governesses in dark, gloomy manor houses and pert, red-cheeked nurses and turned to writing about heroines who carry guns, sport black leather and can take a man down in fifty seconds flat.

Really.

What happened to the days when all a heroine had to do to get her man was flutter her black lace fan and bat her soot-caked eyelashes? (Ample cleavage didn’t hurt either.)

It was so much easier when all a writer had to worry about was how many flounces graced her heroine’s gown or the number of hooks on a corset. (A heroine’s age at marriage also determined the size of her waist: if she wed at 18, she aspired that her waist remained at 18 inches.)

And if all else failed, there was always the “smart” heroine who wrote novels, solved mysteries or planted her delicate boots on foreign soil and showed her moxie by becoming a globe-trotting adventuress.

Sigh. Ah, for the good ole days before our heroines decided they wanted equal rights between the sheets. And on the job.

Now to create the modern heroine, a romance writer has to know the difference between a Glock and a Sig Sauer (the latter sounds like a deli sandwich).

Be able to “street speak” in urban fantasies, suck blood without smudging her lipstick in vampire thrillers and shape-shift into an exotic creature with all her parts intact.

So I’m asking all you romance writers to drop me a line and tell me what “dangerous professions” for a heroine you’ve seen in recent novels or in a novel you’re writing.

What’s new for a heroine in the 21st century in the world of “9 to 5” that you haven’t seen or written about before?

I’ll be eagerly awaiting your answers.

Who knows?

Maybe we can start a new trend: Dangerous heroines in tight corsets and red high heels who live in an abandoned subway tunnel and belong to a secret society of lusty Victorian vampires who feed on handsome firefighters.

Then again, maybe not.

 Best regards,

 Evelyn Q. Darling

Romance Reporter At Large

Artwork by Jina Bacarr

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Welcome to A Naughty Christmas Carol, a holiday story video told with pictures and words.

The idea for the story came from the heroine in my Harlequin Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai, nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award. The Blonde Samurai is the story of Katie O’Roarke, an Irish American heiress who goes to Victorian London to wed a British lord.

It’s 1873 and Katie O’Roarke is headed to Japan as a virgin bride after marrying Lord Carlton. There she falls in love with a handsome samurai, but not before she spent a Season in London, far from the woods of her Pennsylvania home. As Lady Carlton, she was privy to the comings and goings of the British aristocracy and their fascinating and often incorrigible mores.

Here is one such story she heard whispered in Mayfair drawing rooms, a holiday tale called A Naughty Christmas Carol.    

In Episode 1, we meet Sir Harry,” though that is not his real name, as a young man. It’s Christmas Eve and he’s being very disagreeable with Lady Florentine, the gentlewoman who loves him, and his mistress, Nellie Rose, a fine lass whose mum is sick, as he makes his way to Madame Moiret’s bawdy establishment on York Street…

Join me next week for EPISODE 2 of: 

“A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL”

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